Fans of Chronicle writer Max Landis and iconic Italian plumbers were in for a surprise yesterday when he posted an innocuous looking download on his website titled “Super Mario World” By Max Landis. The PDF contained within is a 435 page script Landis wrote when he was 18 years old and still just aspiring to become the writer we know and love today. That’s right! Landis posted what equates to – by his own admission in a lengthy author’s note – fan fiction.
The plot of the story centers around missing children from 15 years ago. One is a little girl named Patricia, who goes by Peach. Mario and Luigi don’t show up until later. We haven’t had the time to read all 435 pages of the script, but the excerpt we did read was impressive. The world is rich with detail, and in the grand tradition of the best of fan fictions, there are moments that are both steeped in the existing story and moments that are set completely in the world of now.
Perhaps our favorite part of what Landis calls not a script but a “manifesto” is the author’s note at the beginning. He rails against his own inexperience, his misunderstanding of rights when it comes to character names, and the sheer volume of the story he created. Some of the details are of the writerly nature: he writes out whole fight scenes and an entire section of songs. Some are broader. We particularly enjoyed his comparison to George R.R. Martin:
While one of the script’s biggest strength’s is its almost George RR Martin-esque level of “this pays off here, that pays off there” epic scale plotting (“if George RR Martin wrote shitty fan fic…”), there are still characters, concepts and places introduced like the reader should already know them.
If the Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo film didn’t quite do it for you or if you’re a diehard fan of Mario, we highly recommend checking it out. We are looking forward to reading more and seeing just how deep this warp pipe goes.